Volkswagen e-up! (2019-2022) review
The Volkswagen e-up! electric city car was given a mid-life nip-and-tuck in 2019, including a bigger battery that substantially improved its range
- Grown-up driving experience
- Decent real-world range
- Excellent visibility
- Interior quality not the best
- No infotainment system
- Cable storage is poor
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||159 miles||5hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.2kW)||48mins (10-80%, 30kW)|
Volkswagen now has a fairly comprehensive line-up of electric vehicles, but the e-up! was one of the first out of the gates back in 2014. Although the latest version of didn't change much externally from the original, the more energy-dense 36.8kWh battery introduced in 2019 was a significant improvement over the previous 18.7kWh one, boosting claimed range up to 159 miles.
While a 0-62mph time of 12 seconds doesn’t sound particularly impressive, the instant torque that the electric motor delivers means the e-up! feels much faster and more fun than you’d expect. For a car of its size, the e-up! is surprisingly spacious inside, but its spartan dashboard feels outdated, with just a basic smartphone cradle instead of a touchscreen infotainment setup.
As is the case with most Volkswagen models, you’ll find build quality is good, but rivals like the Honda e and MINI Electric offer a more upmarket feel and much more kit as standard. That said, those models do come at a far higher price and don’t offer any more practicality or space than the cleverly packaged e-up! does.
Along with its sister models the Skoda Citigo-e iV and SEAT Mii electric, the Volkswagen e-up! has now been discontinued, but any one of the three can make for a good-value secondhand electric-car choice if you're in the market. For a more detailed look at the Volkswagen e-up!, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Volkswagen e-up! electric city car was given a mid-life nip-and-tuck in 2019, including a bigger battery that substantially improved its range
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe latest Volkswagen e-up! has much longer range than its predecessor thanks to a more energy-dense battery, making it a more usable electric car than before
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Volkswagen e-up! is small, light and very cheap to run, so switching from an equivalent petrol-engined car could save you thousands
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Volkswagen e-up! can’t compete with the fastest electric cars, but it’s a strong performer given its diminutive size and intended use
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortWhile the VW e-up! feels well screwed together inside, the lack of a proper touchscreen infotainment system lets it down a bit
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe VW e-up! is a small car, but thankfully it differs little from the cleverly packaged petrol-engined model when it comes to practicality and boot space
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Volkswagen e-up! is based on a decade-old design, which means it's not as safe as more modern electric vehicles. Reliability should be good, though.